Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Blackstones Wien Bearish on Crude Oil for First Time

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Byron Wien, the 79 year old chairman of Blackstone Group LP’s advisory services unit, is forecasting an annual drop in oil prices for the first time in his career as swelling production pushes global inventories higher.

Wien, who joined the world’s biggest private equity firm in 2009, said the U.S. will extract more crude by fracking rocks and expects the furor over a potential conflict with Iran to dissipate. Brent crude lost 2.8 percent last month after surging 14 percent in the first quarter on concern Iran may disrupt Middle East exports in retaliation for a European oil embargo.

Russia and Saudi Arabia, the biggest crude producers, are pumping near record levels, helping push February inventories in developed nations to the equivalent of 59.6 days of demand, the most since 2009, according to the International Energy Agency.

“The Iran premium is going to come out of the price of Brent,” Wien, who was previously a chief strategist at Morgan Stanley, said in an April 26 television interview on “Bloomberg Surveillance” with Tom Keene. “There’s an Iran premium in the price of oil, thinking that Israel will strike Iran, and I don’t think Israel will”.......Read the entire Bloomberg article.

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